The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Project turns Anstruther astronomic­al

True-scale model of the solar system launched in Fife village

- Michael alexander

While Nasa spends millions of dollars sending rockets into space, Anstruther has instead brought outer space down to earth with a novel way of exploring the solar system.

The official launch of the Anstruther Model Solar System was marked yesterday, on the summer solstice, by an afternoon of space-related fun activities.

The Anstruther Model Solar System is a true-scale model of the solar system, recently built in Anstruther and made possible as an Anstruther Town Centre Working Group project.

It extends almost 600 metres, from the ‘sun’, at the old Sun Tavern (opposite the Life Boat Shed) to ‘Pluto’, about 100 metres past the Dreel Tavern on the way towards Pittenweem.

The planets are shown to scale on bronzed plates on building frontages, mostly along Shore Street.

If the tide is out, budding space explorers can cross the stepping stones to reach ‘Neptune’ in The Esplanade.

Yesterday’s activities started at the old Sun Tavern with a short talk by Dr Hania Allen, who came close to the final of the Project Juno competitio­n to find Britain’s first astronaut.

Participan­ts were able to wander and get a sense of the vastness of space and understand how tiny our home planet is by comparison.

After visiting Pluto, participan­ts were invited to return down the hill to the Dreel Halls, where refreshmen­ts and further activities awaited.

The Dunfermlin­e Astronomic­al Society along with Dalgety Bay Astronomy Club were present to demonstrat­e a variety of telescopes.

Norman Paterson, who created the project, said: “I hope the model will be an addition to Anstruther’s attraction­s.

“People will be able to say ‘I’ll meet you at Saturn at 5 o’clock’ or whatever.

“Anstruther is a lovely place and I hope I have added a little to its charms. “It is also undeniably educationa­l. “I hope that people will not simply rush past without any thought or reflection about what they are seeing.”

Jim Braid of the Anstruther Town Centre Working Group added: “Norman first came up with the idea at least 10 years ago and with his perseveran­ce it has come to fruition.

“It has been one of the smaller TCWG projects but it is certainly unique in concept and I’m sure it will be another popular attraction in Anstruther. “

East Neuk Fife councillor Elizabeth Riches said: “This unusual attraction should prove popular with children and adults alike.”

 ??  ?? Visitor Lucy Morrison, from Rosyth. Picture: George Mcluskie.
Visitor Lucy Morrison, from Rosyth. Picture: George Mcluskie.

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